If it were possible for most well-known restaurants to start completely from scratch, most of these eateries would want to model their business like Sweetgreen. The high-end salad chain restaurant has huge investors backing it, including Danny Meyer, Daniel Boulud and Steve Case.
Sweetgreen is both on trend and ahead of its time, offering healthy, organic and local ingredients for patrons to enjoy. The restaurant current has 40 locations and the lines are always long.
Co-CEO Nathaniel Ru says that he and his partners are created a brand that will stand for something when it comes to customer perception. This proves that chain restaurants could stand to learn much more from Sweetgreen than how to make a delicious salad.
Ru and his business partners Jonathan Nemen and Nicholas Jammet were classmates at Georgetown University, and have made significant strides in technology. They are also children of parents who are business owners and are all first-generation immigrants. Read more: Nathaniel Ru | Crunchbase and Sweetgreen Entreprenuers | Fortune
Sweetgreen has an app, and Sweetgreen conducts 30% of its total transactions through the app and the restaurant’s website. Ru asserts that technology has always been a huge part of what makes Sweetgreen successful.
Lately, Ru and his two business partners have been rethinking their methods for management. The corporate offices are closed five times a year so that everyone involved with the restaurant can work at an establishment and be hands-on. Although Sweetgreen now has a new office in LA, there is no main headquarter. The CEOs are bi-coastal and want to make sure that there are Sweetgreen locations all around the country.
After the business partners graduated from college in 2007, they wanted to open a restaurant near campus that would offer healthy options to students. They knew that Sweetgreen would be a hit when the restaurant survived winter break — a time when there are very little students on campus.
Nathaniel Ru and his business partners launched sweet life in 2010, which is a music and food festival that is now the largest in its region.
The event, which features innovative foods and popular artists, is held near Georgetown University and attracts about 20,000 attendees.